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Nine worst chain-restaurant meals revealed

May 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
We all know that some restaurant dishes can be downright unhealthy. Now a new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest focuses on the top nine offenders.The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a group that's referred to as the "Food Police." Every year, they rank the dishes that are off the charts when it comes to calories, fat and salt content. These are dishes available at some of the country's most popular chain restaurants, and the findings are alarming.

It's a smorgasbord of the biggest sellers at restaurants across the country, just loaded with fat and calories.

Let's take the tostada pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, for example. It checks in at nearly 1,700 calories and more than two days' worth of salt.

Two hotcakes from the Bob Evans chain have more calories and fat than two country-fried steaks and four eggs.

"They should give us healthier options so that even if we do go out, we can enjoy ourselves and not feel full all the time," said Glendale resident Lilit Manukyn.

California requires chain restaurants to list calorie counts. Some local consumers say they appreciate the effort.

"There's some restaurants I go to and they do offer the calories, and it's unbelievable, the amount of of just an appetizer," said Manukyn.

Some of the plates were chosen because of their salt content. The double pan-fried noodles at P.F. Chang's China Bistro check in with more than 7,600 milligrams of sodium.

Medical experts say eating these kinds of meals can have serious consequences, even after just one meal.

The National Restaurant Association calls CSPI's report "distorted," adding "there are more diet-conscious items on menus than ever."

But the popularity and profitability is undeniable. Not on the list is the latest craze from Kentucky Fried Chicken, the KFC Double Down sandwich: all bacon, cheese and chicken.

"In my opinion, it's my business to inform myself. I already know what's going to hurt me and what's not going to hurt me," said Burbank resident James Gregory. "So it's up to me to stay away from it."


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